A hike in avocado prices has seen surge in raids on crops

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A hike in avocado prices has seen a surge in raids on crops in Axarquia since before Christmas.
Theft is an annual hazard for farmers, but this year the crops are under greater threat from small thieves who sell the fruit illegally and structured groups who steal to demand due to high prices.
Farmers can currently fetch up to €3 per kilo compared to around €1.90 in 2018, while onions barely scrape past 10 cents.
“The thieves mainly took advantage of the Christmas holidays because it is a period in which we all relax. We spend more time with the family and less in the field working.
“There are many farmers in the region who have given us notice of the thefts,” said a spokesperson for farmers’ association, Asaja.
“On some farms, thieves have entered up to three and four times, so the farmer has had no choice but to harvest early so that they do not steal it.
“We are urging farmers to report all incidents to the police and local authorities so that they are investigated and security is stepped up,” he added.
At the end of November, the National Police arrested a man in connection with the theft of 250 kilos of avocados from a farm in Velez-Málaga.
But Asaja warns that the larger threat comes from organised groups that steal thousands of kilos of avocados and “are more difficult to control and cause a lot more damage to the sector”.

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Written by

Tara Rippin

Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.

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